D-Day and WW2 in Normandy
The best D-Day sites and museums
The 6th of June 1944 saw one of the most audacious and heroic wartime operations in the 20th century. Around 156,000 Allied soldiers landed on the beaches of Normandy in the biggest sea-borne invasion in military history. Known as Operation Overlord, the Allied mission was clear - to take back France from the invading Germans moving inwards from the coast. Landing on 5 beaches designated with the codenames by which they are still known today: Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno and Sword, the soldiers stormed the coast from Saint-Marie-du-Mont to Ouistreham, taking thousands of casualties. The ensuing Battle of Normandy lasted for 80 days as the Allies repelled the German forces.
WW2 sites to visit in Normandy
France still retains many remarkable sites of WW2 significance and a large number of these extraordinary places can be found in the Normandy region. The D-Day Landings and the Battle of Normandy saw some of the fiercest fighting of the war and Hitler's defences on the Atlantic Wall are among the best-preserved remnants of the German occupation.
Below are our recommendations for some of the best sites, museums, monuments and other places to visit in Normandy to learn more about this incredible period in world history.
Download a map of the D-Day beaches and attractions
Download our D-Day Guide App
Download our D-Day Guide App for iPhones or iPads which gives a comprehensive history of events surrounding D-Day with photos, maps and GPS data to find all the sites of interest.
Getting to Normandy
Our routes to Cherbourg and Caen will put you close to all the D-Day beaches and these attractions. Why not sail overnight from Portsmouth to Caen or take our fast-craft ferry from Portsmouth to Cherbourg and be there in just 3 hours. We also offer morning sailings from Poole to Cherbourg.
Veterans travelling to Normandy can receive financial assistance from the Lottery Fund. Full details can be found on their website: www.biglotteryfund.org.uk.
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